The Last Power project aims to make the EU independent from other developed countries on wide band-gap semiconductors. In particular, the effort focused on high-quality materials, leading-edge equipment, and advanced processing.
This field is of strategic importance since it involves the development of high-efficiency systems, with the potential for high revenue, for applications whenever electric power is needed. This ranges from telecommunication to automotive, from consumer electronics to electrical household appliances, from industrial applications to home automation.
In particular, the consortium targeted European technology, including equipment, processing, and characterization, to address many of the possible applications. The know-how takes advantage of the presence of the most advanced public research centers and reference universities operating on SiC and GaN technologies, large companies that are world leaders, and many SME from six EU countries.
The EU established the target of developing 150-mm 4H-SiC wafers that qualify as “state-of-the-art.” To date, Last Power has fabricated 100-mm wafers. In addition, the consortium considered GaN heteroepitaxy on 150-mm Si wafers.
The consortium consists of:
STMicroelectronics (Coordinator), Italy
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) - Istituto per la Microelettronica e Microsistemi (IMM), Italy
Foundation for Research & Technology - Hellas - Institute of Electronic Structure & Laser, Greece
Consorzio Catania Ricerche, Italy
Instytut Wysokich Cisnien PAN, Poland
Università della Calabria, Italy
SiCrystal AG, Germany
SEPS Technologies AB, Sweden
SenSiC AB, Sweden
Acreo AB, Department Nanoelectronics, Sweden
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Angelo Alberto Messina has worked with STMicroelectronics for 14 years, and is currently with its corporate R&D and public affairs department.
Dear Rob, " SEMICONDUCTOR PROCESS AND INTEGRATION" is one of the 8 "Research, Development and Innovation priorities for 2013" (http://www.eniac.eu/web/downloads/AWP/awp2013.pdf). In this respect "Competitivness through Semiconductor Process Differentiation" is one of its main 3 "Grand Challenges". therefore EU is already clearly aware. In this phase Consortium is looking mainly for the best enaibling technology; costs will be then optimized after a proper industrialization phase. Anyway we trust on our results as the best way to push for a very specific EU mandate on this field.
Angelo, this is an interesting effort. It is good to see the technology being developed in a diverse set of locations. I am familiar with STMicro microcontrollers, but have not worked with your power electronic components.
Nice article, Angelo. Does the consortium plan to push for an EU mandate on this? Ordinarily, OEMs would look for the best technology at the best price without regard to region -- except inasmuch as distance affects price.
In order to keep in line with safety protocols, industrial networks need to be filtered in a semantic way so that only information related to diagnostics is flowing back to the vendor and that any communications that could be used for remote machine operations are suppressed.
While people may talk about the procurement process, the procurement discipline actually encompasses a number of different processes. They include spend analysis, supplier relationship management, and contract management, just to name a few.
As the Industrial Internet of Things and machine-to-machine communications movements gain speed, some companies are asking themselves, “Wait. How much information do we really want to flow in and out of our premises? Aren’t we supposed to be doubling down on cyber security?”
Extruded aluminum continues to gain traction as a mainstream OEM choice for designing, engineering, and producing component parts. The alloy and the technique have marched aggressively through the awareness and understanding phases and are now solidly in adoption territory.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.